Penn State vs Illinois Odds
Saturday September 16
12 pm eastern time
|State of Pennsylvania Odd|
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
We finally have a good old-fashioned Big Ten football game at our disposal. The No. 7-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions will head to Champaign, where the Illinois Fighting Illini will await them.
The Nittany Lions entered this season with a lot of excitement and real College Football Playoff aspirations. They have scored 101 points in their first two meetings and face an Illini defense that has declined compared to last season.
Speaking of Illinois, the Illini were the fashionable underdogs in their matchup last week against Kansas. However, the Jayhawks came out red-hot in the first half and built a lead that proved insurmountable.
Now, they must take on a much more powerful offense, but can they keep up? Let’s take a closer look to find out and discover the best bet for Penn State vs. Illinois on the road.
I mentioned all the preseason hype this Penn State team received, and it’s mainly due to quarterback Drew Allar. Allar has been phenomenal through the first two games of this season, completing 78.2% of his passes and averaging 9.2 yards per completion.
He has made this Nittany Lions offense explosive by pushing the ball down the field, and that trend should continue in this matchup. Illinois’ secondary hasn’t looked great so far, ranking 80th in passing yards allowed and 73rd in completion percentage allowed.
On top of that, the Illini haven’t generated much pressure, as they rank 83rd in Sack Rate.
However, this does not end with the passing game.
Penn State should be able to move the ball at will on the ground, as the Fighting Illini have shown little fight up front. They have allowed 5.2 yards per carry to rank 108th in the country.
Look for the Nittany Lions to continue putting up points in this matchup.
Like the Nittany Lions, when you look at this Illinois offense, the first person you start with is the quarterback. Sophomore Luke Altmyer has looked solid both in the air and on the ground.
Altmyer led his team in the second half and got the final score much closer when his legs came into play, and they’ll have to do it again this week if Illinois wants to stay that close.
The main reason Altmyer has been running so much is because his offensive line hasn’t done him any favors. This unit ranks 121st in sack rate allowed and will now face its toughest test yet.
Altmyer’s mobility will be what puts the Fighting Illini on the board, as we have seen his ability to extend plays and create downfield passes and scramble opportunities.
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Penn State vs. Illinois
Analysis of confrontations
Toggle the dropdown menus below to hide or show how Penn State and Illinois match up statistically:
Penn State offense versus Illinois defense
|Yards of line||18||124|
Illinois Offense vs. Penn State Defense
|Yards of line||fifteen||6|
Pace of play/Other
|Approach to PFF||91||80|
|SP+ Special Equipment||105||13|
|Seconds per play||27.3 (75)||25.8 (54)|
|Rush rate||60.9% (4)||53.9% (84)|
Penn State vs. Illinois
Bet selection and prediction
As I said in the intro, this is a Big Ten matchup, and these conference games are usually associated with a grind. However, this game could open up quickly.
The Nittany Lions shouldn’t face much resistance on offense and have the potential to really expose the Illini secondary. On the other hand, Altmyer will run to save his life, but that may not be the worst thing if Penn State overdoes it.
Penn State is expected to maintain control, but Illinois won’t be completely shut down. Take control.
Choose: Over 48.5 (Play up to 50.5)
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